London | Sun, April 4, 2021 | 07:35 pm
The UK government announced on Friday that four countries would be added to its so-called “red list,” which will prohibit incoming travel to England beginning next week, citing coronavirus “variants of concern.”
The ban on tourists from Kenya, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Pakistan, according to the Department of Transport, will take effect at 0300 GMT on April 9.
This includes someone who has left or transited through the countries in the previous 10 days.
Traveling from the United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as those with UK residency rights, would be quarantined in hotels for ten days.
The ban was imposed due to new data showing increased risks of importing coronavirus “variants of concern,” according to the department.
The latest rules raise the total number of countries on the red list to 39.
The expansion of the list came at a “sensitive time for the vaccine program,” according to the government.
More than 31 million people in the UK, or more than 45 percent of the population, have received their first dose of coronavirus vaccine.
According to the Department for Transport, the additional restrictions would “help to minimize the risk of new variants – such as those first found in South Africa and Brazil – entering England.”
The UK has set a May 17 deadline for the resumption of international travel, which is currently prohibited except for a few legally permissible reasons.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s taskforce is expected to propose a traffic-light scheme that would classify countries as red, green, or amber for travel based on the risks posed by their virus rates.